- Additional reporting by PA
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has tested positive for the Coronavirus, Covid-19.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.
“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.
“He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.”
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.March 27, 2020
In a video on his Twitter account, the Prime Minister confirmed the announcement.
Mr Johnson said he had developed a temperature and a persistent cough.
He added: “I’m working from home and self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do.
“But, be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.
“I want to thank everybody involved and, of course, our amazing NHS staff.
A number of politicians took to Twitter to wish the Prime Minister a full recovery.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “I don’t wish anyone ill.
"I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery. I hope everyone in coming days gets the care and medical attention they need.”
I don't wish anyone ill.
I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery.
I hope everyone in coming days gets the care and medical attention they need https://t.co/anDWB3m1xe— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) March 27, 2020
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted: “Please take good care PM @BorisJohnson. I wish you an easy recovery. Thank you for calling on your nation to follow @NHSuk’s guidance. Your leadership and commitment to beating the #coronavirus are key to saving lives in.”
Please take good care PM @BorisJohnson. I wish you an easy recovery. Thank you for calling on your nation to follow @NHSuk’s guidance. Your leadership and commitment to beating the #coronavirus are key to saving lives in 🇬🇧. Together! https://t.co/CvWfIULD2D— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 27, 2020
It is thought Boris Johnson last saw the Queen on March 11 when the monarch held her weekly audience with the Prime Minister at Buckingham Palace.
Their following meeting, held on March 18, was conducted via telephone as have their subsequent conversations.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen last saw Mr Johnson just over two weeks ago.
He said: “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health. The Queen last saw the Prime Minister on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare."
The spokesman said Mr Johnson was self-isolating in his flat above Number 11 Downing Street.
“Number 11 in its entirety will serve as the Prime Minister’s office and his home – he lives above Number 11 in the flat.
“The doors between Number 10 and Number 11 have been closed off to all other staff who work in the building.
“The PM will work from the office and the study in Number 11, which has been kindly vacated by the Chancellor.
“Full video conferencing facilities have been installed in those downstairs rooms in Number 11.
“All Number 10 staff will observe Public Health England guidelines on contact with the PM and will of course remain two metres apart from him at all times if they were to have any contact.”
Asked whether the chief medical officer and senior ministers have been tested, the spokesman said: “In Number 10 we have been observing the advice on social distancing…
“We have wherever possible been using video conferencing.”
He added: “We have been taking steps and following the same advice which we have given to the public.”
Asked whether Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock had been tested, the spokesman said: “I’m not aware of any further testing.
“The position is that if people were to start to display symptoms… then the advice would be that they needed to self-isolate.”
More to follow.